• The Body Issue

    All About Facial Oils

    The Body Issue
    Masqueupoctober2017 web

    Masque Up

    All About Facial Oils

    It’s that time of year again when we need to rotate our skincare products... most of all the moisturizers! I don’t fret too much over this since stepping into the wonderful world of facial oils. It’s the easiest way to adjust the amount of moisture in your routine, whether you’re looking for an increase or something lighter. Before we get into my recommendations, let’s dispel two vicious rumours about facial oils:
    “They cannot be used on oily skin.”
    Believe it or not, this is – false! Oily skin tends to be a result of under moisturized skin (and, of course, genetics). When the skin senses an imbalance in moisture, it kicks into overdrive by producing sebum. Sebum is what causes clogged pores and infections (pimples), especially when produced in abundance. While sebum is needed for healthy skin, too much can cause acne. The best way to combat an overproduction of sebum is by being vigilant about hydrating your skin. This is where facial oils come in. A quality facial oil will effectively hydrate your skin, leaving no need for it to release the reserves of sebum. In fact, many people with acneic skin attribute facial oils to lowering their outbreaks. Nature is weird.

    “Facial oils will cause breakouts.”
    Well, this depends on what you use. As I mentioned earlier, quality is key when selecting a facial oil. All oils are not created equal. The best way to determine what oil is best for you is to first check its comedogenic rating. Comedones are skin-colored bumps on your skin. The most common comedones are open (blackheads) and closed (whiteheads). Both appear on the surface of your skin, usually around your oily spots like the forehead, nose, and chin. Sebum and bacteria fill your pores and result in comedones. Of course, we want to use products that prevent this altogether. The best way to do this is to take a glance at the list of ingredients on a skincare item. The first ingredient will tell you all you need to know. Google “name of product” + “comedogenic rating” for an idea of how your skin will react. All of my recommendations have a rating between 0–2 on a scale of 0–5. If you’re acne-prone or have sensitive skin, stay in the 0s. Even if your skin can handle a bit more than average, I wouldn’t go above 2. Don’t play with fire when it comes to your face, friends.

    Argan Oil

    Comedogenic Rating: 0

    Argan oil is extracted from the kernels inside the nuts of the Argan tree. It’s high in vitamin E, which  has anti-aging effects and helps reduce inflammation. Argan oil contains softening agents like saponin, and fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic. These are what give the oil a rich, thick texture. It possesses all this goodness while still sitting at a zero rating, which makes it a win for acne-prone and sensitive skin. It’s also amazing on hair, so use this when your strands dry out and they’ll be soft as clouds. 

    My fave: Acure Moroccan Argan Oil 
    Splurge: Josie Maran Argan Oil

    Rosehip Seed Oil

    Comedogenic Rating: 1

    Rosehip is my daytime oil of choice because it’s a dry oil that absorbs quickly while still leaving skin intensely hydrated. Extracted from the wild rose plant, rosehip seed oil excels at correcting UV damage, lifting hyperpigmentation, healing scar discoloration, and increasing skin elasticity. It’s used in many anti-wrinkle products due to its abundance in vitamin A, which keeps your skin renewed by increasing the speed of cell turnover.  If you like a dewy look, Rosehip oil is wonderful as a makeup primer. Spread a bit on your face and then apply your foundation. You’ll look ethereal. 

    My fave: Acure Rosehip Oil 
    Splurge: Herbivore Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil

    Sea Buckthorn Oil

    Comedogenic Rating: 1

    Sea buckthorn oil is an acne-fighting superhero. Extracted from the sea buckthorn berry, this oil is a mild analgesic – meaning your skin will be less irritated when healing from an outbreak – that’s incredibly high in vitamin A, C, and E. These vitamins are known to prevent acne, fight free radicals (which cause premature aging), and moisturize intensely.

    My fave: Life-flo Pure Sea Buckthorn Oil 
    Splurge: Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil

    Marula Oil

    Comedogenic Rating: 0

    Very similar to argan oil, marula oil is high in vitamin E and fatty acids. The biggest difference is that marula oil also contains vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that fiercely fights free radicals and repairs sun damage. It’s heavier than argan oil, so it’s better suited for drier skin.

    My fave: The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil (when it’s in stock) and Acure Marula Oil 
    Splurge: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil


    Comedogenic Rating: 1

    Not to be confused with squalene (which isn’t ideal for skin care because it spoils quickly), squalane is its stable sibling known as the one-size-fits-all of facial oils. It’s a non-greasy, antioxidant-filled oil that absorbs quickly, but is still able to penetrate skin to target dark spots. Harvested from plants rather than a nut, it’s a great alternative for those with nut allergies. Already found within your skin, squalane will prevent loss of moisture and give you a plumper appearance. As an added bonus, squalane can also be used on your hair as a heat protectant.

    My fave: The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane 
    Splurge: Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil

    Almond Oil and Jojoba Oil

    Comedogenic Rating: 2

    Last but not least are the tried-and-true almond and jojoba oils. These oils are readily available and excellent for moisturizing literally from head to toe. Both of these oils are high in spreadability and work for all skin types. They’re also incredibly stable so they’ll last for a substantial amount of time. The catch is finding an oil that is high in quality and low in unnecessary fillers. Because they’re both commonly used as carrier oils, you’ll likely find them in oil blends coupled with more potent or fragrant oils.

    My fave: You can find these anywhere from your local Target to a health food store. I typically use the NOW Foods brand when I want to use the oil as a standalone. 
    Splurge: For a luxurious but frugal experience, I love the Pixi Rose Oil Blend

    As with most skin care products, less is more when it comes to facial oils. No need to douse your face; each drop is so full of moisture and emolliency the oil will spread across your face with ease. Although oils seem to last forever, be aware of the expiration date. If it goes rancid, it’s of no use and could potentially cause more harm than good. And remember: when in doubt, Google is your face’s best friend. (I know you’re already going to ask about coconut oil so let me tell you now. It’s a four. Please don’t put it on your face).

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